HOUSTON -- Houston Texans owner Bob McNair has discussed the possibility of his team playing at Rice Stadium if repairs to Reliant Stadium from Hurricane Ike can't be made in time for its first home game on Oct. 5.
The stadium's retractable roof lost five pieces in the storm and
officials said large pieces of debris had fallen into the stadium.
Though he has discussed playing at Rice, which is four miles
from Reliant, McNair is "optimistic" that repairs can be made in
time for Houston to play at home against the Indianapolis Colts on
"We would have to talk to them at Rice, but certainly it's a
large enough stadium that it is a possibility," McNair said
Rice Stadium holds 47,000 in its current configuration, but the
tarps could be moved off the end zone seating to expand the
capacity to 70,000. It was opened in 1950 and hosted the Super Bowl
McNair said engineers are going over Reliant, which seats
69,500, this week to look for possible structural damage, but had
not found any by Tuesday.
"I am optimistic that we are not going to find any structural
damage, the damage is just going to be to the roof and that's
something we're going to be able to deal with," he said.
McNair said there is a possibility the Texans could play their
home games without a roof, but that officials are worried about
possible drainage issues if there is any significant rainfall while
it is uncovered.
"If we had weather like this it could be fine," McNair said on
a cool, sunny day. "But if we had a tropical deluge the drainage
is something that is a concern."
He's waiting for updates on how long it will take to get the
roof panels made and installed at the stadium. He'll wait to make
any decisions until he finds out how long that will take.